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7 Actions to Take BEFORE You Interview
By decreasing the jitters BEFORE your interview you can increase your confidence DURING the interview.
Getting nervous just before or during an interview is natural but there are specific actions you can take to decrease, if not eliminate it. Here is a checklist of 7 important actions you can accomplish before any interview you walk into.
1. When it comes to answering interview questions, forget trying to memorize scripted answers that you probably read somewhere. Instead, focus on answering the questions in a way that makes sense to you that showcases your experience and skills.
Do this by developing your stories. By this I mean, you'll develop stories around specific examples of your career where you get to tell how you…
a. Either made money or saved money for your current or previous company.
b. Faced a crisis or two in your life or job and how you responded or recovered from it.
c. Functioned as a part of a team and what your contribution was.
d. Had to deal with stress in your career.
e. And many other stories revolving around typical interview questions that you can always expect.
Interviewers want to know more about who you are and telling small stories like this is an excellent way to do this. You want to be remembered. When you stand out from the crowd you'll personalize yourself. Another benefit is that you won't have to worry about memorizing answers to stock questions. Just be yourself and let your story shine through. If you can have about 5 to 7 good little stories of about 30 to 90 seconds each, your confidence will rise tremendously for any interview you have.
2. Do company research well in advance so that you can relax before the interview rather than scrambling to get ready at the last minute. This also reduces the possibility of stupid and embarrassing questions on your part. You should already know what products or services the company is in the business of providing. You should know their size, their annual revenues (if they are a public company), what the title and functions of the job are, and lastly, the name and title of the person interviewing and their role in the hiring process.
3. Plan ahead to wear comfortable clothing that suits this type of interview. The usual mode these days is business attire. That could mean different things to different companies. If you're not sure, call ahead to either your interviewer or the HR department and ask. When in doubt, dress more conservatively. You want to fit in and not feel self conscious about your clothing choice during the interview.
4. Make sure you have the name and phone number of a contact person, preferably the person you'll be meeting with. Stuff happens and when it does you'll want to keep them informed of delays that may be beyond your control.
5. Log on to Mapquest® or Yahoo Maps® and get directions if you're not sure of their exact location. You want to arrive well in advance so that you can get there a little early so you can shift gears and collect your thoughts before you walk in.
6. Remember to bring copies of your resume with you. One for yourself and one for your interviewer and perhaps a spare one or two just in case. You might want to refer to your resume during the interview and having a copy in front of you can add to you sense of security. If there are any other items you need, like a portfolio, bring this as well.
7. Finally, don't place undue pressure on yourself. This is just one interview. It's not "do or die". The last emotion you want to project is one of neediness or desperation because you aren't either. Once you walk in to the interview, your prep work has been done and you can feel confident about letting the chips fall where they may.
A checklist of seven steps that's easy to do but will pay big rewards in your successful job search. The key here is that the magic of doing your best means doing all your preparation beforehand so you can go into the interview relaxed and calm.
Copyright 2006 Joseph Turner
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